At a surprise check presentation on Oct. 30, Voya Financial Inc., a leading provider of retirement plans for educators, awarded Deidre Rabuck, assistant principal of the Kennedy Krieger School: Fairmount campus, its national second-place award for its Voya Unsung Heroes program.

Rabuck, who is Jewish and has worked at the school for nearly two decades, was selected due to her teaching concept titled “Fairmount New Station.” The program gives students with learning, behavioral and physical disabilities the opportunity to write, produce and star in the school’s morning announcements.

Rabuck plans to use the $12,000 grant to purchase studio equipment to accommodate the disabilities and diverse learning styles of each student participating in the news-like format.

“With Voya’s support and Deidre’s drive, energy and expertise, our students will have the opportunity to actively participate in broadcasts throughout the school year,” said Sandi Jenkins, principal of the Kennedy Krieger School: Fairmount Campus. “The studio will allow our students to work on writing, public speaking, executive functioning and many other important skills. With Voya’s support and Deidre’s drive, energy and expertise, our students will have the opportunity to actively participate in broadcasts throughout the school year.”

Voya has been awarding education grants for more than 20 years, bringing over $5 million to about 2,000 educators across the country. The Voya Unsung Heroes program is part of the company’s broader effort to empower educators by giving support, resources and opportunities.

“At Voya, we are focused on making a difference as we serve our clients and customers, and we’re thrilled to recognize our nation’s teachers who go above and beyond to inspire today’s students,” said Heather Lavallee, president of Tax-Exempt Markets at Voya Financial. “For more than 20 years, our Unsung Heroes program has empowered educators like Deidre to bring their innovative ideas to life, and we are honored to recognize her as our 2018 second-place winner.”